Mary K. reveals the emotional journey for her and her husband when they learned their youngest child, Amelia, was born deaf. After trialing hearing aids and months of struggling to keep Amelia’s hearing aids on, her parents decided Cochlear Implants and the off-the-ear Kanso® Sound Processors would be the best solution for their little girl to hear. See why: 

Amelia - child with cochlear implants“Of all the thoughts and dreams we had for our daughter before she was born, hearing loss was not something we even considered. We never imagined Amelia would be deaf, but that will never stop her from accomplishing all of her hopes and dreams.

In August 2016, my husband Stephen and I welcomed our beautiful girl Amelia Margaret. We were over the moon with our little blessing. In the hospital though, Amelia failed her newborn screening test.

The technician assured us that we should not worry because newborns often fail their initial screenings due to fluid in the ears. We had to return to the hospital 10 days later for a repeated test, and our baby girl failed again. That was when we were referred to an audiologist.

We were so naïve, not remotely thinking about the possibility of hearing loss, even after two failed tests.  We still just assumed it was an issue with fluid. After several tests with the audiologist, we discovered that Amelia did in fact have profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

Amelia - child with KansoWe went through so many different emotions of heartache and anger, questioning why her and why us? Did we do something wrong? Was there a way we could have prevented this? We were depressed at the thoughts of her life never being what it should be due to her deafness. I thought about the fact that she would never hear my voice, my husband’s voice, her siblings’ voices or the many family members that loved her so much. She would never get to know the beautiful sound of her name Amelia Margaret or hear us say ‘I love you.’ She would never dance to music or understand her mother and sister Lexie’s love of the Backstreet Boys. It was all so much to take in, understand and accept.

After some time and understanding, we came to the conclusion that it was all right for Amelia to be deaf. Her hearing loss was not the end of the world for her or for us. We would do whatever we had to in order to make sure she lived the greatest and fullest life possible, even if she were never able to hear.

After failed attempts with hearing aids, our audiologist referred us to a surgeon who specialized in cochlear implants. For us, it was never even a question of whether or not our daughter would receive the implants. It was an immediate yes, and the easiest and best decision we have ever made. We knew that even though our daughter would always be deaf and it truly was okay, she would be able to have the gift of hearing through her implants. They were the blessing we never expected to need.

Amelia - child with cochlear implants and Kanso Sound Processors - and familyAre you considering cochlear implants for your child with hearing loss, too? Get help and information at IWantYoutoHear.com.

We never even considered another brand other than CochlearTM. I had heard of them many years ago and knew of their great success. I trusted them and knew they were the right choice for our little girl.

It then came time to decide which model of Cochlear Implant sound processors we would choose, the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processors or the Kanso Sound Processors.

After many months of continuously putting Amelia’s hearing aids back on, reassembling the pieces she had torn apart and retrieving them from her mouth, we decided that the Kansos would be the best fit for our little girl.

They are small and discreet, but not too small that she would choke on them and most importantly they are an off-the-ear model. Amelia loves to play with her ears and having something hanging on them was just an invitation for her to bother them even more.

The Kansos are off her ear, so she often forgets they are even there. After the first few days, it was like Amelia became aware of where they were and began to adjust to making sure they stayed on. While they stay on fantastic, Cochlear did provide retention cords that are just as discreet as the Kansos. She often does not even know they are there, but using the retention cord protects us if they do accidentally fall off.

Amelia goes to a clinic that offers two sets of processors, but because we had fallen so in love with the Kansos, we decided to go with two sets of those rather than choosing anything else.

Choosing the Kanso Sound Processors was also one of the greatest decisions we have ever made. Our daughter does wonderfully with them. They stay on great, as long as she is not being the typical 1 year old that takes them off on purpose because she knows it gets her attention.

While having to plan for the surgery and sit in that waiting room was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a mother, in the end it was the greatest gift I have ever given my child.

Within a day, my wonderfully resilient child was back to herself, playing and laughing as if she did not just have surgery less than 24 hours earlier. A month after surgery, Amelia’s implants were activated. Initially, it was not the greatest reaction. She cried quite hard, and I felt helpless as a mother not being able to take away her pain or her fear. I knew though in my heart we were making the right decision, even if she could not understand at the time what was happening. Since then she has done nothing but thrive, learning something new every week.

With the blessing of her Cochlear Implants, in only two months Amelia is responding to sound, has already learned her name, loves to dance to music and mimics several sounds. She loves to tell people ‘hi’ as well as say ‘uh oh’ when she purposely throws things on the floor.

She continues to amaze us every day and much of that we owe to the wonderful technology of Cochlear Implants. Through Cochlear, the sky’s the limit for our little girl.”

Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.